Mousavi declares Iran government illegitimate

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The Independent Online

Defeated Iranian presidential candidate Mirhossein Mousavi today said the new government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was "illegitimate," in a statement posted on his website.

"It is our historical responsibility to continue our protests and not to abandon our efforts to preserve the nation's rights," he said, two days after Iran's top legislative body confirmed Ahmadinejad's election victory.

Mousavi, who has repeatedly said the June 12 vote was rigged, said he would join a planned association of leading figures which would follow up people's rights and "ignored votes" in the election.

Its demands would include "halting security and military confrontation with the election, returning the country to a natural political atmosphere, reforming the election law to prevent vote rigging, securing freedom of holding rallies and freedom of press," the statement said.

Mousavi also called on the authorities to release detained "children of the revolution," in reference to scores of leading reformists arrested since the disputed poll, and said he could not compromise regarding people's rights.

He called for a lifting of a ban on some moderate newspapers and websites.

The authorities reject opposition charges of vote rigging.

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